Cretan Curation


With Greece’s largest island welcoming its first branded residential resort, L-J Andrew is introduced to Elounda Hills

I n the heart of the Mediterranean, the captivating island of Crete promises year-round sunshine, breathtaking scenery, world-class archaeological sites, heavenly cuisine and soon, its very first branded residential resort. Elounda Hills, a luxury 138-acre resort on the northeast coast, has been developed in collaboration with nature inspired lifestyle hotel brand, 1 Hotels.

Situated between the city of Agios Nikolaos and the traditional fishing village of Plaka, the town of Elounda is the definition of quintessential Cretan living. Featuring views of the historic islet of Spinalonga, crystal clear waters and family-run eateries, this coastal town is a magnet for globe trotters year after year. First recorded as ‘Olous’ or ‘Olounda’, the area is rich in Ancient Greek culture, with archaeological research recording civilisation dating back to the Minoan times.

Set across an ancient hillside with an amphitheatrical master plan, Elounda Hills is primed to become the leading ultra-luxury sustainable resort in the Mediterranean. The centrepiece of Phase 1 of the development, includes a 137- key hotel and 96 branded apartments and villas serviced by 1 Hotels, each with unobstructed views of the Mirabello Bay and the Aegean Sea beyond.

With the aim of curating the perfect relaxing wellness escape for visitors and owners, there is a wealth of lifestyle facilities here; the 5* hotel by 1 Hotels with Bamford Spa and wellness centre, private sandy beach, water sports centre, tennis courts, kids’ club and teens’ lounge. There will also be a 14-key boutique marina hotel by 1 Hotels, a retail Piazza with shopping boutiques, workspace and a dozen lively restaurants and bars.

One of the shining jewels of this resort is Camper & Nicholsons Marinas boutique marina, creating a new global destination for yacht owners and enthusiasts. Including seasonal birthing and additional mooring for super-yachts, the marina is surrounded by a private beach club, fitness and wellbeing facilities, lively restaurants and bars across 2 kilometres of coastline.

As an environmentally conscious development, the resort introduces a level of sustainable living not before seen on the island. At the core of 1 Hotels’ values lies a passion for creating destinations that respect and preserve the environmental and cultural contexts of their setting, whilst also promoting the health and wellbeing of their guests and residents. Inspired by the ancient Greek phrase ‘Νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ’’ which translates as ‘healthy mind, healthy body’, Elounda Hills has been designed in line with world leading holistic practices WELL, BREEAM and LEED.

Optimised renewable energy sources, water and waste recycling, plastic-free zones, ‘fish to fork’ dining, biophilic design inspired by the authentic Cretan architecture and colourful botanical gardens filled with local flora add to the resort’s regenerative approach, leaving a lasting net positive impact on its surroundings.

Phase 1 of Elounda Hills is scheduled for completion in 2026.


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